Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 9, 2006
By: Kevin Drum

AVOIDING THE COURTS....The Bush administration has a real thing for keeping people imprisoned without charges and then suddenly freeing or transferring them just as a court is about to hear their appeals. Is it all a big coincidence? Or are they afraid that no court in the country is likely to rule in their favor, and they're willing to do just about anything to avoid an adverse ruling that would hamstring them in the future? TalkLeft has the latest.

Kevin Drum 1:28 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (26)

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Or are they afraid that no court in the country is likely to rule in their favor, and they're willing to do just about anything to avoid an adverse ruling that would hamstring them in the future?

Wrong again Kevin. The most likely explanation is that after extensive interrogation, Bush and Rumsfeld came to the conclusion they are not a threat to the United States. Therefore they were released. After 9/11, Bush and Rumsfeld both believed it's better to be safe than sorry because we don't want another 9/11 to happen. That's why the interrogations took so long, not because of your latest New Left liberal paranoid conspiracy theory.

Posted by: Al on May 9, 2006 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Seems Isakoff may have had it right when he asked the question of why we don't go after the real masterminds of 9/11 that we have in custody. BushCo does not want to lose a case from the shedding of light on the methods by which we extracted their confessions, etc.

Posted by: bryrock on May 9, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Off topic: Is Political Animal getting a bit insular recently? What are the percentage of posts about blogs talking about blogs versus posts about what's going on outside the blogosphere?

Posted by: catherineD on May 9, 2006 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

I would say coincidence, you know, like when you have a test next week, you don't start studying until the night before, except that there are people involved... and Al, I thought the interrogrations were done about two years ago... which leaves precious little excuses for this administration other than they couldn't find a country to take them and the US govt didn't want to house them in the United States. Lame.

Posted by: J. on May 9, 2006 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Judges tend to be liberal, because being unelected and having power turns one into an unaccountable elite. It's unsurprising that they would sympathize with the terrorists. The Bush administration realizes this.

Posted by: American Hawk on May 9, 2006 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

Al,

"The most likely explanation is that after extensive interrogation, Bush and Rumsfeld came to the conclusion they are not a threat to the United States. Therefore they were released."

If they are not a threat - do we owe them anything? Or can Bush and Rumsfeld pick up anyone and imprison them for four years, and upon determining that they are not a threat, relocate them to Albania? Can they do it to you?

Posted by: cactus on May 9, 2006 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK
Or are they afraid that no court in the country is likely to rule in their favor, and they're willing to do just about anything to avoid an adverse ruling that would hamstring them in the future.
Those Uighurs spent years in Gitmo, and even the military tribunals admitted more than a year ago that these folks weren't threats and should be released. I find it interesting that they only get released the weekend before their case is scheduled to go to the Supreme Court. Even the bush appointees on the Supreme Court would have bitchslapped this administration for shredding the constitution. Posted by: Peter on May 9, 2006 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Remember Terry Anderson, held hostage by Hizbullah for what was it - 2 1/2 years?

He was awarded $24 million in compensatory damages in a ruling against Hizbullah's sponsor state, Iran. In a DC Court.

So the Uighar tribesmen, who never made war on US and were held without charges for 4 years...

Lets see... is it 6 tribesmen? Illegally held at the standard rate of $10 million per year... Some ballsy lawyer should track these guys down and sue George Bush for $240 million. The 6 guys could live pretty good on their cut there in Albania.

Posted by: Wapiti on May 9, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

[[After 9/11, Bush and Rumsfeld both believed it's better to be safe than sorry because we don't want another 9/11 to happen.]]

That's all well and good.

It's also illegal, for good reason: Holding someone without charges, without counsel, without due process is the essence of totalitarianism. That ain't who we are. That ain't who we have ever been, dating back to Thomas Paine.

If you disagree, that's fine: You're welcome to move to a country that agrees with you, and you probably should go ahead and do it because you certainly have forfeited the right to call yourself an American.

Otherwise, I expect you to support the Constitution and U.S. law, or else work through the system to make any changes to them you think necessary. Unilateral lawbreaking on the part of the executive branch doesn't cut it.

Posted by: Lex on May 9, 2006 at 1:51 PM | PERMALINK

The system should be called the Cuban Archipelago.

This is simply fascism.

Posted by: POed Lib on May 9, 2006 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Lets see... is it 6 tribesmen? Illegally held at the standard rate of $10 million per year... Some ballsy lawyer should track these guys down and sue George Bush for $240 million. The 6 guys could live pretty good on their cut there in Albania.

I would hope that Ramsay Clark is working on this angle.

Posted by: POed Lib on May 9, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

After 9/11, Bush and Rumsfeld both believed it's better to be safe than sorry because we don't want another 9/11 to happen.

Frankly, they should have done something about 9/11 before it happened....

But the argument above can be made to justify any abuse of the law. I could as easily justify the false arrest and imprisonment of anyone even suspected of, say, rape or murder with the claim "it's better to be safe than sorry because we don't want another rape or murder to happen." By those standards why even have trials or a court system at all? Why not just put anyone we even remotely think might do something in jail until all possible danger has passed?

Posted by: Stefan on May 9, 2006 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

American Chickenhawk:

You mispelled "Conservative".

Posted by: Osama_Been_Forgotten on May 9, 2006 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Why not just put anyone we even remotely think might do something in jail until all possible danger has passed?

Oh, I'm sure that's coming. Especially if the danger they pose is to continued GOP power.

Posted by: craigie on May 9, 2006 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

Oh, I'm sure that's coming. Especially if the danger they pose is to continued GOP power.

Careful there, craigie. You're veering dangerously close to Thoughtcrime.

Posted by: Stefan on May 9, 2006 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

I've been offered Scooby Snacks to turn you guys in for saying stuff like this. I turned them down indignantly, of course, but just so you know, my price is some really good-quality coffee ice cream.

Posted by: shortstop on May 9, 2006 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Dumb again, Al.

Posted by: cleek on May 9, 2006 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't the last court say they would re-open the case if the administration tried to pull this again?

What are the odds they will follow through...

Posted by: thr on May 9, 2006 at 2:37 PM | PERMALINK

Tsk tsk, American Hawk is mailing it in now - not even trying anymore.

Posted by: ckelly on May 9, 2006 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

It is not a coincidence, nor are they afraid to lose in court (they'd just attack the judges as anti-American liberals). Their choice of tactics is designed to broadcast and promote their power as much as possible, and avoid confrontations that would endanger it - not by "losing" in any court (judicial, public opinion) - but by admitting the legitimacy of a constitutionally-defined institution that could oppose them.

This is why Bush has never vetoed a bill: it's not just about not losing, it's about not even admitting that they have opponents, or that their opponents are playing the same game as the Administration.

Posted by: Chris on May 9, 2006 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

Is American Hawk a joke? I can't even imagine Mann Coulter saying crap like that.

Yes, I'm sure that all unaccountable elites turn into liberals. Well, except for the Yale/Harvard grad and former oil executive who has decided that he'a accountable to no one because he currently resides in the Oval Office. I'm sure he's the only exception.

Posted by: mmy on May 9, 2006 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

AmHawk:Judges tend to be liberal, because being unelected and having power turns one into an unaccountable elite.

so, now Bush is a liberal too?*
___
*being unelected, having power and unaccountable and all.

Posted by: e1 on May 9, 2006 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

I was wondering what Albania gets out of this. Some kind of bribe/coercion certainly had to be involved. And - holy coincidence! - The US made a 180 degree turn and now supports Albania's NATO membership.

Posted by: MartinE on May 9, 2006 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Stefan:

Well, then you understand why I was going out of my prog/liberal way to defend ol' Jay from the charge of "child molester" last week.

Thoughtcrime is thoughtcrime is thoughtcrime ...

Bob

Posted by: rmck1 on May 9, 2006 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Hilzoy, at Obsidian Wings, has been following this for a long time. For a more thorough take, look at her post from last friday: Freedom.

Posted by: ScottM on May 9, 2006 at 7:42 PM | PERMALINK

Kinda of how teh "real" dictators do it...maybe they are practicing.

Posted by: Ben Merc on May 10, 2006 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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